T Nation

DL Before Squats?


I'm planning to do a full-body program 3X week. Probably 2 sets of 5 of the following exercises in this order:

Weighted pull-up

Goal is to gain strength.

(1) What should be the order of the exercies? Mainly concerned with DL and squat
(2) Too much pressure on lower back?

Any other comments regarding this workout are appreciated.
Sorry if this is a bit of a newbie question. Will make future posts to Beginners forum if recommended by responders


If I was doing your program, I'd add an extra set or two in there. Also, I would alternate the order you do them. For an example, one week I'd start out with squats (front squats perferablly), rest 60 seconds, then do deadlifts and then repeat.


Will try bumping up to 3-4 sets of 5. Why are front squats preferable to regular squats? Thanks


Because Front squat put less stress on the lower back.


Just rotate them do squats one day DL the next. Etc, Or even make three days that you rotate differnt push pul and leg exercises.

Then you can give each one it full deserved attention.


I'd say cut out the deadlift, or do it with less frequency (like deadlift once a week, squat twice a week). It's generally accepted that squats and deadlifts in a workout is a no-no.

Not only do both exercises drain the lower back, but they are both very draining mentally and it's hard to focus on both in the same workout.

I'd also suggest doing different rep ranges each workout, so 2 x 5 one day, 3 x 8 another, then 2 x 3, 4 x 10, etc.


It seems that very few people do well by Squatting and Deadlifting in the same workout. The stress is too high on the lower back and/or hips. By Doing front squats with DL you alleviate this quite a bit. Another alternative (the one I like) is to alternate DL and Sq on different workouts and add a complimentary lift. When DL, add a single leg quad dominant lift like 1 leg squat or lunge off a low box. When squatting, add bulgarian deadlifts or another single leg posterior chain dominant exercise.



Try this order instead:


A lot of people will say that you shouldn't DL and SQ the same day, and they may be right. A 2x5 program sounds low enough in volume that I bet you could get away with it while your strength goes up. Try it and see. If your lifts aren't going up, then forget it.

Dan "JMO" McVicker


I think the order is good. If and when I do squats and deads together its squats first because they tighten up the abs and obliquies for deads.